We all know Brexit is going to cause changes to the way UK businesses operate, but are UK companies prepared for the full extent of what the change means for them? Brexit will effectively shape the way Britain interacts with the world for decades to come, and nearly every aspect of UK law will have to be reconsidered.
UK companies need to be prepared for the changes, and if they act quickly can use Brexit to their advantage. Here is a brief guide to some of the things your business should expect from Brexit, with detail on how best to cope with them.
One of the key changes that Brexit will challenge in regards to existing employment law rights is the freedom of EU workers to continue employment in the UK. If you have a team of workers from around the continent, you need to start considering this alteration could cause, for both your and their benefit. Will your company be hit hard if these workers must return to their home countries? If such a scenario affects your business, don’t just wait for the government to tell you what changes will occur, make your voice heard by joining an organisation that can lobby the government into understanding your concerns now.
The UK may no longer have the current benefit of the EU treaties that third party countries are used to, so expect a change that will not necessarily be as comfortable as what you’ve known, and one that may awkwardly differ between individual countries.
If you run a business that relies on importing products from abroad, you need to be aware of how Brexit trade deals may affect custom and tariff laws between the UK and the countries you import from and export to. You will also find that the law may soon differ for each of the type of material you trade.
It is necessary to be realistic about this change as it will most likely not affect all businesses equally. Therefore, having a well-thought out contingency plan with plenty of budget set aside is vital.
Making contract alterations
UK and EU law has been bound together for so long that reviewing the contracts you use throughout your business, from employees to trade partners, is vital. Important factors that are likely to cause change in existing company contracts include issues surrounding tax, trade, customs, tariff, and currency risk.
Planing ahead will make Brexit a smoother transaction for your business. One helpful way of planning ahead for whatever happens is to rewrite contracts to include exchange rate clauses, as they can prevent customer grievances later on. The use of fixed contracts is also advisable as they have the power to fix currency rates for at least 18 months before changes can be made.
Negotiation with key suppliers and customers is paramount for ensuring an effective strategy for adapting to these changes. Be sure to draw up contracts that take into account the budget you have and the level of profitability you expect to accrue.
Passporting is a useful tool that allows insurance and finance centred companies to sell their services and products throughout the EU. UK businesses currently have the right to employ financial services across the EU and the wider European Economic Area (EEA) despite remaining In Britain under regulation of UK authorities. However, if Brexit does not result in the UK keeping its EEA membership, establishing trade agreements for passporting will be vital.
There will be two options that remain possible for dealing with problems for the future of passporting. Either the creation of a bilateral agreement akin to the one that Switzerland currently uses, or instead simply preventing passporting from being a right at all.
Passporting is particularly good for the real estate industry. If landlords and occupiers lose this right it could have serious consequences on the rights of occupational demand and the potential for new developments in UK cities, because without passporting large financial organisations may not locate to these areas.